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Doug's Mailbag: The Hip List, More XP SP2 Thoughts

Here are some reader comments on Doug's article on which company keeps it cool:

 "...and Bing -- if you haven't tried it -- is pretty slick."

This seems to imply that if you have tried it, it's not slick.
 - Clay

I liked your editorial. Mentioning Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates in the same piece was somewhat ironic. Both spent their careers building huge fortunes and both ended up giving away much of those fortunes (Carnegie to build libraries across America, Gates to help the poorest of the poor in Africa). Steve Jobs is of the same generation as Bill Gates (and has built himself a similar empire) but we don't hear much about Steve's philanthropic activities. I wonder why?

Equally ironic is that using the term "cool" these days is not very cool!

You asked what I think about Microsoft: Well, Microsoft is destined to follow in the footsteps of most big monolithic corporations. (The phone company, the cable company and IBM all come to mind.) These entities have lots and lots of customers. Lots of people hate them and lots of people love them. Most people really don't care. While they might introduce a "cool" product now and then, they are never really considered "cool." These kinds of companies never really die but they often just fade away. (Don't be confused. IBM never really faded away. They are still the largest computer firm in the world. They have just returned to their roots as a service firm.)

Apple is chock full of "cool," but what happens when Steve is gone? I wonder if he will leave a lasting legacy (either personal or corporate). Steve comes across as supremely competent -- and equally arrogant. Bill comes across as somewhat of a geek -- and somewhat less arrogant. Yet, in some ways, these guys are cut from the same cloth.

Apple is probably a lot more typical of a computer company than Microsoft. These companies usually spring up overnight, have a few big "cool" products and find themselves displaced just as quickly as they had arrived. In my view, Apple is still a player in very large part because Steve Jobs is a marketing genius. He sells "cool" looking (Dare I say "sexy?") products to well-healed customers. Few people have Steve's vision and sense of style. Who will replace him?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I moved from PC-DOS to Windows in 1987 and never looked back. I did a stint along the way as a Unix specialist before coming back to Windows. I had piddled with Macintosh from time-to-time but never quite "got it." I have never owned one! I have owned more than one iPod and I am listening to iTunes as I write this. (I never tried Zune, and Windows Media player offers me nothing of interest.) I also own a Kindle and have been a BlackBerry guy since 2004.

I got an iPad as a belated Father's Day gift and, so far, I am unimpressed.

One more reader shares his thoughts on the loss of support for Windows XP SP2:

For the most part, most people can upgrade to SP3 and continue with support -- unless I misread your report. I have not found any significant issues with SP3 that would cause me to keep working with SP3. The real question is how many computers are running XP, SP1, SP2 or SP3. I think SP2 will still be a significant number but I don't think it needs to be. Most people can upgrade to SP3 with minimal problems. Certainly not the number of problems that SP2 caused.

But I do agree -- If Vista didn't have such a bad release (worst since Windows Millennium), Microsoft would not be facing the rebellion.

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to [email protected]. Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted by Doug Barney on July 28, 2010


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